What img file to download

  • I am not sure if its just me, but how do I work out what image file to download ?? !!

    I can't find any info on release history, all the files on the mirros have the same date:

    So I don't know whether I need




    Or is the latest version simply un-numbered ??  pfSense-2.0-RELEASE-amd64.iso.gz

    It would be nice to have one link for the latest software version.

    Any help appreciated. I am going to give pfsense one more shot, been on Mikrotik / RouterOS now for a year or so and want to make a decision one way or another.


  • A more thorough search has led me to believe that the file:


    is what I need. Given the number of requests for this info on the forums maybe there should be a section of the site that outlines the versions. In fact, there is a page off the main site called 'Versions' but it fails to outline what each of the available downloads is for.

  • The information is a bit scattered about. I agree that a nice installation link (like on the m0n0wall page) would be helpful.
    The iso images are for general installation via CD. The nano images are for embedded installations, these are typically written to a cf card or similar using physdiskwrite, dd, or whatever. Nano images are available in sizes to match common media sizes. They will actually have two partitions, so a 2G image will have two 1G partitions. This allows you to recover from a failed upgrade, data corruption, etc. The memstick image can be written to a USB drive to install via USB. Images are available in 32 and 64bit versions. If you need to un gz the files on Windows, 7zip works.

  • i use this  pfSense-memstick-2.0-RELEASE-amd64.img.gz  for machines that are 64bit capable

    and this pfSense-memstick-2.0-RELEASE-i386.img.gz for 32bit only machines

    then i used this info http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,41682.0.html
    to write the img file to my sd card to boot and install it from the "liveCD"

    watch for the 9 sec prompt that asks you to hit "I" for install else it will continue to boot the "liveCD" memory stick

  • If you take the time to read the Download page it directs you to a page that explains the versions.

  • Nowhere on that page does it lay out the naming format of the files  on the mirrors that all we are saying. I brief section explaining naming format as mentioned in this thread would be helpful for newcomers.

  • @Cry:

    If you take the time to read the Download page it directs you to a page that explains the versions.

    If you take the time to read the original question, you might see the OP's point.

  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    I added a bit more info here to the "versions" page linked from the download page.


  • Given how verbose that is, how about a TL/DR version, possibly in table format?

  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    It would have to be some kind of odd n-way matrix rather than a simple table… not sure it would be any less confusing.

  • I'm just aware that there's a lot of reading, and given how few people bother with the FAQs I doubt many more will bother plowing through that page. Just something like:

    | File name | Usage |
    | pfSense-2.0-RELEASE-arch.iso.gz | Full install |
    | pfSense-memstick-2.0-RELEASE-arch.img.gz | USB stick |
    | pfSense-2.0-RELEASE-size-arch-nanobsd.img.gz | CF cards |

    With the usage bit linked to the relevant section of the page.

  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    yeah, should probably also list the upgrade filenames and such, and the vga variants, etc, but it's close.

  • I agree that we need some descriptions for each type and what it is used for including the vga, md5, and sha256 versions.

  • I also found it very confusing, even after searching the net for an hour and reading the most current Version page. The main problem I'm still having is all the docs refer to a couple of files that I don't see on any of the mirrors:


    I see a "pfSense-Full-Update-2.0-RELEASE-amd64.tgz" which is the closest thing to "pfSense-2.0-RELEASE-amd64.iso.gz" that i can see but there are two things confusing about this. One, it's not an ISO or an IMG so it's unclear how to write this to a CD in a bootable way. Two, it says "Update" in the filename whereas the file that the docs refer to does not have "Update" in the filename which leads me to think this is an updater file not a base install. Nowhere on any of the mirrors do I see a version for download with "memstick" in it. I'm pretty sure that I need one of these two versions as I'm trying to install to a 40GB SSD which from what I can tell should be treated like a hard drive install.

    I've read so much great stuff about pfSense, i really want to try it but I'm finding it super frustrating just trying to download the right version and get it installed.

    Can anyone help?


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    If you don't see those files, you went to the updates directory, not the directory for new installs.

    New installs: http://www.pfsense.org/mirror.php?section=downloads
    Updates: http://www.pfsense.org/mirror.php?section=updates

  • @jimp:

    If you don't see those files, you went to the updates directory, not the directory for new installs.

    New installs: http://www.pfsense.org/mirror.php?section=downloads
    Updates: http://www.pfsense.org/mirror.php?section=updates

    ahhh. That was the problem. Thanks!

  • my first post..

    Success! 8)  ..with download, install and bootup.  Here is what I did:

    1. At a pfSense mirror website http://pfsense.phoenixkv.net/downloads/ I selected the image file: 
      pfSense-memstick-2.0-RELEASE-i386.img.gz    and downloaded that image file to the HDD on my F-13 workstation..

    3. unzip the image file on the HDD using cmdline:  gunzip pfSense-memstick-2.0-RELEASE-i386.img.gz

    4. plug in a Transcend 4GB USB memstick (/dev/sde).  Copy the image from the HDD to
      the USB memstick using cmdline:  dd if=./pfSense-memstick-2.0-RELEASE-i386.img of=/dev/sde bs=1k

    5. Move the USB memstick over to a Gateway netbook and set its BIOS to use USB as the boot device. 
      I booted without setting any delay params. It booted up after asking a few questions, and displayed
      an options choice menu.

    OK, so it will boot and run from a USB disk. GREAT!  Further testing can now be performed using
    a proper desktop with two wired network adapters.  I am sure that I'll be back soon to learn more
    when I have the necessary hardware.

    thanks for the good information in this Forum.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    OK, Versions page updated again…

  • @jimp:

    OK, Versions page updated again…

    Looks great now! The only thing I would add is a short description for Serial and VGA consoles.

  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    I made a page on the doc wiki explaining the difference between the consoles, and then linked it from the table/text on the versions page.

  • Perfect! I think this will help a lot of people wanting to try pfsense without doing a lot of searching. It sure helps me. Thank you.  ;D

  • Question about the memstick images
    Do they have VGA enabled ?

  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    Memstick images are USB versions of the Live CD, they have VGA only.

    (Though I do have a serial memstick image I made by hand, I haven't had any feedback on whether it works or not)

  • Ok thanks

    another question

    on the memstick images, where are the config get stored ?

    If i reboot a memstick image everything is back to default
    the nanobsd won't boot from USB on my Bock (HP N36L)

  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    The memstick image is the same as the livecd – it's an installer and test platform, it's not meant to be run indefinitely. It does not store the config on the drive.

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